Click the links below to view information about activities for this park.
|Boating and Fishing||Picnicking|
|Education and Events|
Boating and Fishing: Fishing is permitted year round on the lake for bass, sunfish and catfish. Anyone over 15 years old must have a NC fishing license. Fish from the shore, the wheelchair accessible pier or from a rental boat.
Rowboats and Canoes are rented for use on the lake weekends April, May, September and October and daily June-August. Private boats are not allowed.
The Dan River Access on the north side of the park provides parking and a ramp for fishing, paddling and tubing. Bring your own equipment or take advantage of nearby outfitters who provide equipment and shuttling services for kayaking, canoeing and tubing. Fishing the Dan River in the park is generally for smallmouth bass and sunfish by wading or from a boat.
Camping: Cross Cascade Creek and wind your way up a forested ridge to the family campground where two one-way loops house 73 campsites for tents and trailers. One site is wheelchair accessible. Each campsite has picnic table, grill and tent pad. Drinking water and washhouses with laundry sinks and hot showers are nearby. Recreational vehicle hookups and dump stations are not provided. (Wash houses are closed Dec. 1 - March 15.)
Group camping: Five campsites located near the entry gate offer a wilderness camping experience for organized groups at a modest fee. Each site has picnic tables and a fire circle. Pit toilets and water are located nearby. Reservations are required.
Vacation cabins: A short road from the family campground leads to 10 rustic family vacation cabins, each accommodating up to six people. Two cabins are handicapped accessible. Each cabin includes two bedrooms, a kitchen and a living room. During the spring and fall, cabins may be rented by the night with a minimum of a two-night stay. Summer rentals are available by the week only. Reservations are required.
Pets at cabins: Pets are not allowed in the cabin or cabin area at any time.
Climbing: Rock climbing is available in the park by permit. Cook's Wall and Moore's Wall, a series of cliffs up to 400 feet high and extending almost two miles, provide opportunities for seasoned climbers and novices alike. All other areas of the park are closed to climbing and rappelling.
All climbers must register with the park by completing a climbing and rappelling registration and activity permit which is available at the park office. There is no fee for this permit. Prior to activity, a copy of the permit must be deposited in a registration box or given to a park ranger. An additional copy is provided for participants and must be held in their possession while engaged in climbing or rappelling.
Participants are responsible for their own personal safety, including securing proper training and equipment, and adhering to safe practices. Basic rock climbing safety equipment and techniques must be used at all time.
The following state park climbing regulations apply at all times: All climbers must register with the park staff and must keep in their possession a valid rock climbing and rappelling permit.
NC state parks do not install or maintain any climbing route or fixed anchors. New routes are not permitted.
Climbers climb at their own risk and are responsible for obtaining proper equipment and training. Unroped climbing is discouraged.
Route selection and the decision to rely on any fixed anchors are the climber's responsibility.
Climbing activities are permitted in designated areas only and must coincide with the park's posted hours of operation.
All accidents and injuries must be reported to park staff.
Note: All climbers and rappellers must schedule their activity in order to leave the park by the posted closing hour.
Education and Events: Rangers hold regularly scheduled educational and interpretive programs about Hanging Rock State Park. Click here to search our database of park events. To arrange a special exploration of Hanging Rock State Park for your group or class, contact the park office.
Educational materials about Hanging Rock State Park have been developed for grades 5-8 and are correlated to North Carolina's competency-based curriculum in science, social studies, mathematics and English/language arts. The Hanging Rock program introduces students to basic geologic concepts and relates the concepts to the Sauratown Mountain range. Accompanying the program is a teacher's booklet and workshop, free of charge to educators. To learn more about environmental education or to search our database of upcoming workshops, please click the Education Tab above. Or, drop by the park visitor's center and pick up a schedule in person.
Exhibit Hall: There's more to Hanging Rock than outdoor recreation! Stop by the park visitor's center to learn more about the natural and cultural history of the park. From hands-on exhibits about plants and animals to a video about the Civilian Conservation Corps, there's much to see, learn and do.
A hall in the visitor's center offers a variety of interactive exhibits. Open panels of a dead tree to see what's inside. Or, watch a video about the people who formed the park. Learn about geology, bend a rock, or learn more about the Saura Native Americans. Enjoy dioramas of the plants and animals that live on rocky cliffs and near creeks.
In the lobby of the visitor's center, learn about air quality in the Sauratown Mountain Range, or check out the latest exhibit posted in the hallway display case. Whatever you do, make sure you allow yourself enough time to enjoy some outdoor recreation at the park, too! The exhibit hall is open from 9 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. daily during the summer months and is also open daily during other seasons.
Hiking: More than 18 miles of wooded passageways form a network of 12 trails at Hanging Rock State Park. Picturesque cascades and waterfalls, high rock cliffs, spectacular views of the rolling Piedmont and Blue Ridge Mountains, and a mountain cave are just a few of the rewards of exploring by foot.
Persons with disabilities will enjoy a short wheelchair-accessible trail that leads to a rock outcrop. An accessible deck is located near the visitor's center for clear views of Hanging Rock.
Picnicking: Two picnic areas offer 60 picnic sites and 15 grills each. One area is near the trailheads for Window Falls and Indian Creek trails and is shaded by the large trees of the hardwood forest. The other picnic area is on a shaded, terraced hillside near the lake. Some of the picnic tables are wheelchair accessible. Drinking water and restrooms are located nearby.
Shelters for group picnics are located in each picnic area. Each of the three shelters offers tables and a fireplace. The picnic shelters are available by reservation for a modest fee. If the shelters are not reserved, they are available on a first-come basis free of charge. For directions to a specific shelter, please stop by the visitor's center.
Swimming: Tucked into the hills is an inviting 12-acre lake, formed by the damming of Cascade Creek. A popular center of activity at the park, the lake is a source of beauty as well as fun. A hardwood forest extends to the shoreline from surrounding slopes, and paths along the lakeshore lead to the dam and offer views of the lake and surrounding woodlands. A stone and timber bathhouse includes restrooms, dressing rooms, a snack bar and a lounge area with a view of the lake and Moore's Knob. Swimming is allowed during the summer from 10 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. Mondays 11 a.m. until 5:45 p.m. Hours of operation may vary due to staff availability. Contact the park for more information.
N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation • 1615 MSC • Raleigh N.C. 27699-1615